FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the questions we’re asked most often about our PSC systems and how they can improve your business.

If you have a burning query that is not covered, please contact us and we’d be happy to answer.

How does AdMan compare to ACT?

In the words of one of our happy clients,

“Prior to PSC, we used ACT. But ACT does not have the full functionality that AdMan has, it’s basically just a CRM system.

AdMan incorporates the entire business which gives me oversight over a lot more of the operations so I can make more informed decisions.”

If you’d like to chat with someone about how Advertising Manager can help streamline your business, book call

How does AdMan solve challenges for magazine publishers like us?

Common problems we hear about from our magazine publishing clients include:

  1. Members of the sales team adding a booking after your magazine has gone to publication

    • This can cause all kinds of problems in terms of missed advertisements, missed invoices and more importantly, unhappy customers!
    • A centralised system like AdMan keeps everyone working on a publication informed of progress and status – including when a magazine is going to print - and blocks the addition of further bookings.
  2. Late copy from customers

    • Another common challenge publishers face is a delay in receiving copy from customers - which can hold up an entire publication! AdMan has an integrated copy chasing function, which automatically alerts customers and reminds them to send in their copy.

If you’d like to chat with someone about how Advertising Manager can help streamline your business, book call

Why do I need an ad booking system when I already have an accounts package?

Accounts packages certainly helps you manage the financial side of things; logging your business transactions, raising invoices and reconciling accounts. But it doesn’t account for where your team is in the process of delivery.

An advertising booking system such as AdMan runs alongside your accounts package and helps you keep track of advertising space capacity, manage inventory levels, forecast incoming sales, keep track of copy received, alert you to late supply of copy… Plus, when combined with our Accounts package, you can also automatically send out invoices, individually or in batches plus forecast, and manage your cashflow on each publication.

What are the benefits of a dynamic CRM system like Contact Manager?

Common problems we hear about from our magazine publishing clients include:

  1. Members of the sales team adding a booking after your magazine has gone to publication

    • This can cause all kinds of problems in terms of missed advertisements, missed invoices and more importantly, unhappy customers!
    • A centralised system like AdMan  keeps everyone working on a publication informed of progress and status – including when a magazine is going to print - and blocks the addition of further bookings.
  2. Late copy from customers

    • Another common challenge publishers face is a delay in receiving copy from customers - which can hold up an entire publication! AdMan has an integrated copy chasing function, which automatically alerts customers and reminds them to send in their copy.

If you’d like to chat with someone about how Advertising Manager can help streamline your business, book call

How can SubMan streamline the management of my subscriptions?

Managing your company subscriptions can be tricky, with multiple aspects to consider, including; renewals, contacting expired subscribers, dispatching issues, dispatching back issues, upselling to subscribers, adding new subscriptions, and many others.

Organising these tasks can be a juggling act, which can be made easier with the right system – such as SubMan.

  • For starters, you should manage all your subscriptions in one central location; whether a piece of software like SubMan, or a spreadsheet.
    • Keeping everything centralised makes actions quicker and easier - for example, renewing expired subscriptions is easier in one place, than reaching for lists of subscriptions across different files and systems.
  • You should also make use of readily available technology these days, and allow people to subscribe to your magazines online!
    • A system such as SubMan will integrate with your website, connecting online subscription purchases directly with your database.
    • This reduces the need for manual entry and double-checking, allowing you to focus on other tasks.

If you’d like to chat with someone about how Subscriptions Manager can help streamline your business, book call.

I’m managing my subscriptions OK but how can I make it better? (How can I streamline the management of my subscriptions?)

Managing your company subscriptions can be a tricky task, there are lots of aspects to consider, including; renewing subscriptions, contacting expired subscribers, dispatching issues, dispatching back issues, upselling to subscribers, adding new subscriptions and many others.

Organising these many tasks can be a bit of a juggling act, but it can be made easier if you know how. For starters, you should manage all of your subscriptions in one central location, whether that be a piece of software or a spreadsheet, you should try to keep them altogether. This makes things easier for you when you need to take action, for example, renewing expired subscriptions. It will be much harder to perform this task if you have lists of subscriptions in lots of different places.

You should also make use of the available technology and allow people to subscribe to your magazines online. If you have a system in place, your online subscriptions may even filter straight through into your database, reducing the need for manual entry and allowing you to focus on other tasks.

What is unfulfilled liability?

Unfulfilled liability is a term used within the magazine subscription world. The term is used to describe money or magazine issues owed to a customer.

For example, if your customer buys a 12-month subscription at £2 each, they pay £24 up front. Let’s say it's February so they have received 2 issues, with 10 remaining. The remaining 10 issues is your company’s unfulfilled liability, you either owe the customer the £20 or the other 10 issues. 

Subscription management systems can help you manage any unfulfilled liability to ensure you are sending out what needs to be sent out.

Bookings have been missed from an issue how can I stop this?

Within your business, it is vital that you maintain customer satisfaction, so missing bookings from an issue that has gone to print is a massive hindrance for the company.

A really useful way to reduce missed bookings is to use a Flat Plan. A Flat Plan is essentially a drawing of your magazine, you simply place any received bookings into relevant pages. This will allow you to see what bookings are placed, where the gaps are and if you have missed any bookings. This should help you to visualise how your magazine will look when it gets published.

If you have the facility to do so, you should also close down an issue once it has gone to print. This will stop any sales people from adding bookings after the magazine has gone to print, and therefore reducing missed bookings.

How does Flat Plan Manager stop me missing bookings in an issue?

When repeat bookings are the lifeblood of a publication, missing bookings from an issue that has gone to print can be a heart-stopping moment for your company! A really useful way to reduce missed bookings is to use a system like Flat Plan Manager.

A Flat Plan is essentially a drawing of your magazine and you simply place any received bookings into the relevant pages. You can then easily see what bookings are placed, where the gaps are, and if you have missed any bookings. This should help you visualise how your magazine will look when published.

PSC’s Flat Plan Manager  includes the useful facility to close down an issue, once it has gone to print. This will stop any enthusiastic sales people from adding bookings after the magazine has gone to print – avoiding the risk of missed bookings.

If you’d like to chat with someone about how Flat Plan Manager can help streamline your business, book call.

What are the benefits of flat plan?

A Flat Plan allows you to lay out your magazine so you can see what work is left to complete. You should be able to see what editorial, features or stories are left to be written. 

It highlights any areas where more advertising space can be sold. It should show the status of the page as well so you can quickly see which pages are complete, awaiting copy or if there are changes needed.

How can I reduce accounting errors?

In order to run a successful business, it is imperative that you have as little accounting errors as possible. This takes a little work, but with the right methods, you should be able to reduce your errors.

Firstly, if you have the facility to allow software to raise all of your invoices for you, you should definitely use that method as opposed to raising manual invoices. Manual invoices leave room for human error, therefore increasing the risk of accounting errors. You should also try to import all of your invoices into your accounts package, rather than retype all of the information in yourself.

Again, typing and manual entry leaves room for human error. You should also use credit limits and stopping methods to stop customers that are unable to pay using your services. With accounts, automation is really helpful, and is less likely to cause any problems, so wherever possible, you should utilise it.

How does Accounts Manager stop invoices being missed?

Managing a busy publication, you’ll know that sometimes bookings can be placed at the very last minute! So, there is a risk of missing some of those last minute invoices…

The automation in Accounts Manager  gives you tighter control, with the option of raising all invoices in one go, right at the last minute, as the bookings are closed. This captures all your bookings, raises them as invoices – and means no further sales can be added, giving you and your accounts team a little peace of mind!

If you’d like to chat with someone about how Accounts Manager can help streamline your business, book call

Invoices keep being missed how do I reduce this?

When bookings are being placed, there is a chance that they could get added at the last minute, meaning it can be hard to catch all invoices needing to be raised. This is where automation becomes useful. You need to be able to raise all invoices in one go, right at the last minute, this will capture all bookings added and ensure you don’t leave any out.

You should also be able to stop your sales team from adding adverts after you have raised an issue to avoid the invoice being missed.

Benefits of using a cloud system

A cloud system allows you to have access to it from any internet enabled device from anywhere in the world. The backups are included so you don’t have to worry about backing up your data and taking the backups offsite. In most cases it also means you are using the most up-to-date versions of the software.

How can I improve my customer service?

Customer service is a fine art, one that needs constant monitoring and improving. In order to improve on your customer service, you first need to monitor the customer service delivery and highlight any areas that you would like to improve on.

You can monitor customer service in a few different ways, e.g. Customer surveys, Customer retention, Delivery Quality monitoring and many other ways. The data and feedback you have received should clearly identify your shortfalls therefore giving you areas to improve on. You must then develop clear strategies to improve the customer service. These strategies should be filtered down across the business to all of the appropriate members of staff so that the improvements are being made globally.

Once the strategies have been put into place, you should collect feedback and data again to identify if the changes have made an improvement. This process should be repeated constantly so that you always keep in touch with your customers’ requirements and can adapt your customer service delivery in accordance to your findings.

How can I sell more advertising space?

In any publishing business, it is critical that you sell as much space as possible. The sales team need lots of information at their fingertips in order to contact the right people and get sales. One way to try and increase sales is to make sure all company contact details are up-to-date and in one central location for people to access as easily as possible. This makes the sales process more efficient and easier for the sales person.

Another really useful tool is to be able to see customer buying trends. For example, you could look at which customer featured in last January’s issue, and which of them aren’t yet booked into this January’s issue, allowing you to contact them to see if they’d like to re-book.

You could also look at trends to highlight times when sales dip, allowing you to plan ahead and try to increase the sales during that time. The most important thing when increasing sales is ensuring sales people have copious amounts of time to make the necessary calls and visits to customers. These things cannot be rushed, so the more time they have, the better.

How does PSC customer support compare to alternatives?

Support packages can vary, so always check what is included before you purchase a new system. At PSC, we provide free support, because we believe your system should make your life easier and we like to know if it isn’t!

Not everyone does this, and options commonly fall into one of the following:

  1. Some providers may not charge you up front for support, but they will bill you for every call that is made to the support desk.
  2. Other providers may charge you a monthly support fee for standard calls to the help desk and bill you for what they deem excessive support if the help desk is used too much.
  3. You should look for an all-inclusive support package, where you pay a small amount per month and all support queries (whether they be calls or emails) are included.

Depending on which company you choose to use, you may also be given remote support – which we provide here at PSC, without an extra charge.

When you call for help, a support agent remotely accesses your computer and can see and control your screen. We can then see first-hand the problem you are experiencing and manually intervene for you.

We don’t charge extra for this service at PSC, but some companies do it’s best to check whether this is included in your package or not.

If you’d like to chat with someone about how PSC systems can help streamline your business, book call.

How do PSC systems help me improve my customer service?

Good customer service is a fine art that needs constant monitoring and tweaking just to maintain, before you can improve on it. You also need to know how well – or badly - you’re delivering now, before you can identify what needs to be improved and then how to improve it.

  1. You can monitor customer service in a few different ways, such as through customer surveys, customer retention, delivery quality monitoring, among others. The data and feedback you receive should clearly identify any shortfalls, giving you clear areas to improve upon.
  2. You must then develop clear strategies to improve your customer service, which need to be filtered throughout your business, to all the appropriate members of staff to make sure the improvements are being made globally.
  3. Once strategies have been put into place, collect ongoing feedback and data again, to identify if the changes have made an improvement.
  4. This process should be repeated constantly, to keep in touch with your customers’ requirements and so you can adapt your customer service delivery in line with your findings.

All PSC systems are built with the aim of improving processes and communication – both internally among your team, and externally with your customers and suppliers. Automation and integration keeps your processes streamlined and efficient across your teams and ensures you’re delivering consistently to your customers.

If you’d like to chat with someone about how PSC systems can help streamline your business, book call

How much should I expect to pay for an advertising booking system?

Advertising booking systems can vary, some providers require you to pay for the software up front with an additional fee each month for support. This can range anywhere between £50,000 to £150,000 with support charged at a small monthly fee.

Other providers will rent you the software where you pay anything from £25 per month to £200 per month. The monthly fee may include support or support may be extra.

Some providers will include the updates and some will charge for the new versions of the software, to avoid being caught out you should always ask about the updates.

We always advise asking about support costs up front and the type of support you may get.

I have a CRM system why do I need an advertising booking system?

Having a CRM system is great, you can manage all of your contacts and leads in one system, but what happens when that lead converts into a sale? 

You have to then log in to a different system to record the sale and send an invoice. That’s where an advertising booking system comes in handy.

An advertising booking system will encapsulate all of the different aspects of your business, from generating leads, documenting calls to contacts, recording sales, entering and scheduling bookings and raising and sending invoices. This makes for a seamless sales process, a reduction in time spent manually entering data and reduced risk of error. 

Some advertising booking systems even have an accounts package included, meaning you no longer have to tirelessly enter each individual invoice into an external accounts system, you can simply export all of your transactions into a format that can be imported straight into an accounting system.

What can I do to improve the use of my CRM?

A CRM system needs to work to your company’s advantage, not be a hindrance, so you need to make sure you are getting the most out of your system.

Firstly, make sure all of your sales members are making comprehensive notes when dealing with prospect clients. This will aid communications better the next time someone goes to speak to that same contact.

Also, if your system has the capability, use a reminder feature to track what needs to be done. Set yourself tasks to call clients or chase an email; an alarm or calendar system can work massively in your favour allowing you to keep on top of your work load and make sure everything is completed to its deadline.

You should also try to segment your contacts, you will then be able to manage them more easily. For example, segment all contacts that have requested more information about your services, this way, when you have mail shots to go out, you can include all of those contacts quickly, without having to manually go through each one. You should also mark contacts that are no longer interested in your services, or contacts that have converted into customers. Your contacts will then be segmented into easily identifiable groups for you to act on.

The main point to using your CRM effectively is to ensure it is maintained by all staff. It must be cleansed of old contacts or old companies, and new ones should be added properly in a similar fashion to the existing ones, this will make using the system much easier for everybody, therefore saving time and money.

What do I need to provide when I buy an Advertising Booking system?

Technically, you do not need to provide anything when purchasing a new ad booking system, but it will definitely work in your favour if you do. You could buy a new system and start completely from scratch, but there are a number of details you can give to your new supplier for them to import into your system allowing you to carry on from where you left off. These things include;

  • A list of staff members you wish to have credentials to login and their security access
  • A list of all of your customers and prospect customers
  • A list of contacts at those companies
  • A list of all of your Titles and their corresponding Issues
  • A list of all of your rate cards

What is the difference between the cloud and server versions of software?

The only difference between the terms ‘Server’ and ‘Cloud’ is where your data and system is hosted.

If you choose to install a system and all of its data on a PC within your company office, you are choosing to host the system locally on your own server, hence the term. This means that you are responsible for maintaining the system and backing up all of your data. It also means that you have to ensure your servers are GDPR compliant. In most cases, you need to be connected to your company’s internal network; you do not necessarily need to be connected to the internet.

If you would rather not have that responsibility, you can choose to host your system in the ‘Cloud’. This means that the system and its data will still be installed onto a server machine, but that server machine will be owned or rented by the company you are buying the system from, therefore, the company will be responsible for taking backups and maintaining the system. It is also the company’s responsibility to ensure all of the severs are GDPR compliant. In order to gain access to a system which is hosted on the ‘Cloud’, the company will provide you with a web address or another way of remotely accessing the system from a PC in your office. This will require an internet connection.

What problems do magazine publishers face?

Magazine publishers often face difficulties when it comes to the running of operations within the business but these can often be avoided.

A common problem can be when a member of the sales team adds a booking after your magazine has gone to publication. This can cause all kinds of problems in terms of missed advertisements, missed invoices and more importantly, unhappy customers. This needs to be avoided so requires some management, sales people should be aware of when a magazine is going to print and blocked from adding any further bookings, if possible.

Another issue publishers face is a delay in receiving copies from customers. This can cause delays for the entire company, therefore creating a delay in publishing and leaving other customers unhappy. This also needs to be avoided, so you need to ensure you have a method of ‘Copy Chasing’. Copy Chasing is the act of contacting your customers who are yet to send in their copy, to remind them to send it over to you asap.

What support should I receive from my software provider?

Support packages can vary, but you should always check what is included before you purchase a new system.

Some providers may not charge you up front for support, but they will bill you for every call that is made to the support desk. Other providers may charge you a monthly support fee for standard calls to the help desk, but bill you for what they deem excessive support if the help desk is used too much. You should also look for an all-inclusive support package, where you pay a small amount per month and all support queries (whether they be calls or emails) are included.

Depending on which company you choose to use, you may also be given remote support. This is when a support agent remotely accesses your computer when you call for help. They can see and control your screen, allowing them to witness what problem you are experiencing and manually intervene for you. Again, you need to check whether this is included in your package or whether you will have to pay extra for it.

Why should I use a CRM?

A ‘CRM’ is a Customer Relationship Management system and it can potentially be the core of your business. If used effectively, it can be a centre point which holds information on all of your customers, contacts and sales.

There are many benefits to using a CRM system, including;

  • A central location for all your data
  • Make changes to contact information easily to stay up to date
  • Send bulk emails to an entire list of customers
  • Track sales made by different people
  • An unlimited notepad to document discussions with prospect clients
  • Create tasks for yourself or others to remind them to do something
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